A major earthquake in Nepal hit a remote mountainous region of the country on Tuesday, killing at least 36 people and leaving more than 1,000 injured, triggering landslides and toppling buildings less than three weeks after the country was ravaged by its worst quake in decades.
Nepal’s Home Ministry raises the death toll from the latest earthquake to at least 36.
— Nepali Times (@nepalitimes) May 12, 2015
The US Geological Survey said Tuesday’s earthquake was centred 68 km (about 42 miles) west of the town of Namche Bazar, close to Mount Everest and the border with Tibet. A magnitude 7.3 quake, it was felt as far apart as New Delhi and Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.
Residents in the Indian town of Siliguri, near the border with Nepal, said chunks of concrete fell off one or two buildings.
Tuesday’s quake was deeper, however, coming from a depth of 18.5 kilometers (11.5 miles) versus the April 25th quake that hit 15 kilometers (9.3 miles). More shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage at the surface.
It was followed closely by two aftershocks – measuring magnitude 5.6 and 6.3 – within 30 minutes.
“The shaking seemed to go on and on,” said Rose Foley, a UNICEF official based in Kathmandu. “It felt like being on a boat in rough seas.”
Aid agencies were still struggling Tuesday afternoon to get reports from outside of the capital.
“We’re thinking about children across the country, and who are already suffering. This could make them even more vulnerable,” Foley said.
In the capital of Kathmandu, the quake sent people rushing outside of their homes. Police gave no immediate estimates of damage.
Norway’s Red Cross, which was helping people from the April 25 earthquake at a 60-bed hospital in Chautara in central Nepal, said on Twitter in Norwegian that there were “many injured, several killed” and added that their hospital tents already has gotten patients.
At the Norvic Hospital in Kathmandu, patients and doctors rushed to the parking lot.
“I thought I was going to die this time,” said Sulav Singh, who rushed with his daughter into the street in the suburban neighborhood of Thapathali. “Things were just getting back to normal, and we get this one.”
Strong shaking was also felt across northern India. In the Indian capital of New Delhi, people scrambled outdoors while buildings swayed.
Nepalese have been terrified by dozens of aftershocks that hit the country in the days following the April 25 quake. Meanwhile, the impoverished country has appealed for billions of dollars in aid from foreign nations, as well as medical experts to treat the wounded and helicopters to ferry food and temporary shelters to hundreds of thousands left homeless amid unseasonal rains and unreachable with landslides blocking many mountain roads.